Through a pastoral letter, Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc of the Diocese of Kalibo appealed to the public, including President Rodrigo Duterte, to halt the establishment of casinos in Boracay Island.
Tala-oc expressed his disapproval to the proposed casino project in a letter that was released last September 17. He said that a paradise like Boracay already has so much to offer, so why put up a gambling casino?
"Boracay is God's gift to Aklan and to the whole world. It has become a family destination, a venue for educational advancement and entrepreneurship. It offers a wider avenue for employment, a good source of livelihood for our people, and revenues for the government," he wrote.
He also added that "gambling is a game of chance," and sooner or later, it will become a habit, then it will progress into a vice that will eventually lead to addiction to the game of chance.
"Gambling promotes not only indolence but also dependence, contrary to the work and industry, for people to earn their living and contribute to the economic development of their community," he noted.
"We, therefore, strongly declared: No to Gambling Casino, No to Gambling Boracay."
Tala-oc also urged their different organizations and associations to voice their opposition to the casinos in Boracay, as he also called on the government to prohibit gambling.
"I also appeal to our leaders in the province not to allow gambling casinos that will destroy our cherished island. I also call on all our priests in the Diocese of Kalibo, with our Parish Pastoral Councils, Lay organizations, Movements, Associations, and Societies to form discerning groups and say "No to Gambling Casino, No to Gambling in Boracay."
"We, Aklanons, have the responsibility to take care and protect Boracay," Tala-oc added.
President Duterte earlier changed his mind regarding the establishment of casinos in Boracay, saying he'll permit the operations of casinos to make up for the government's lack of funds.